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Lavanya Tripathi: I didn’t have a plan B

Lavanya Tripathi  

There’s coffee waiting to be had and oatmeal she’s made using a travel-friendly sized rice cooker. Lavanya Tripathi is savouring every moment of a lazy morning after hectic promotions for Soggade Chinni Nayana. Soon, it will be time to promote next week’s release Lacchimdeviki O Lekkundi ( LOL).

She’s hit a purple patch after the back-to-back success of Bhale Bhale Magadivoy and Soggade… She looks back at the time when she took a break after her second film Doosukeltha to take stock of her career. Her debut film Andala Rakshasi ( AR) was still fetching her offers. “Luckily, there was never a time when I had no offers,” says Lavanya. She signed LOL, Soggade… and then Bhale Bhale…

Three in one

LOL will present her in a character with three shades — as fiery Ankalamma, goofy Umadevi and the uppity Devi. “Ankalamma was tough. I had to dance with heavy jewellery, nimmakaya garland and damuru and the body language had to be energetic to match the tempo of the song,” she says.

Her AR co-star Naveen Chandra was roped in later. Their familiarity didn’t make their second film a cakewalk. “We kept to ourselves while shooting for Andala Rakshasi, perhaps because we were in tune with our characters, Surya and Midhuna. With Rahul (Ravindran) it was different. Over time he became a buddy, maybe because he’s married,” she laughs.

Matter of choice

Lavanya keeps getting advice on what roles to choose. “People tell me that since I’ve done roles of traditional women, I should now look at characters in which I can sport western attire. I’d love to do that, but I wouldn’t choose a role for the heck of appearing glamorous. I might have played a housewife in Soggade, but it was glamorous,” she emphasises.

Soggade… threw up challenges and had to do with more than measuring up to Nagarjuna and Ramya Krishna. The risk, she says, was to enact the part of a married woman and appear older than her real self.

“Some people cautioned me against taking up such a role because I’d get slotted. Samantha portrayed a married woman (in Manam) but she was already established. I went by my instincts,” she says. Barring the fact that a big film came her way, she says the clinching factor was that she had a substantial role.

On the sets, Lavanya was at first awed by the confidence Ramya Krishna exuded and her first scene with Ramya and Nagarjuna involved nervous moments. “Once I thought of myself as Sita and Nag sir as Ramu, I was at ease,” she says.

Contrary to her screen image as a brooding wife, Lavanya is a livewire. “I’d be the one laughing on the sets. But I can switch on and off within moments,” she quips.

Among her co-stars, Nani credits her for “being real” than a glam doll heroine and Nagarjuna is in appreciation of her acting abilities. A decade ago, Lavanya never imagined she’d be acting in Telugu films.

From Dehradun

In 2006, when Lavanya was still in school, she won the Miss Uttarakhand title and dreamt of a career in modelling.

Her family was supportive but insisted that she complete her graduation. “I didn’t have a plan B though,” she laughs. The desire to act was there too.

Luck came in the form of a television crew that came to shoot in her hometown Dehradun. She won a part and that led to more assignments in Mumbai. A brief stint for a TV serial taught her dos and don’ts of acting, mostly don’ts. She learnt the importance of understated acting.

In between all this, she signed a Malayalam commercial.

“I went to shoot in Kerala, broke into a sweat when I had to speak lines in Malayalam,” she recalls.

Lavanya was more prepared when Hanu Raghavapudi signed her for Andala Rakshasi. She took classes in Telugu. “My family recently saw Soggade… since it released in Dehradun and loved it, despite not understanding the language,” she smiles.

Next, Lavanya has a Geetha Arts’ film with Allu Sirish and is biding her time to take on new projects.

She’s also mulling over a house or service apartment in the city, tired of living out of suitcases and eating hotel food. “I love to cook,” she declares.

There will be more than oatmeal once there’s a place to call her own.


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Printable version | Oct 14, 2021 10:32:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Lavanya-Tripathi-I-didn%E2%80%99t-have-a-plan-B/article14013979.ece

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